“Nobody ever got ahead by sleeping in.” At least that’s what the nagging little voice in my head was saying this morning. The bigger voice responded “Life isn’t a race, it’s a journey, so go back to sleep you little work Nazi.” The little voice said, “Ok, but you are not going to enjoy walking 4 miles this evening when it’s still 100 degrees.” The big voice got the big butt out of bed and on the road and promised herself a sweet siesta this afternoon. Naps are better than heat strokes 100% of the time.
Last month I baked two birthday cakes on the same day, both new recipes. I was in the mood for something besides chocolate, and I had done the strawberry thing last year. I finally decided on butter pecan for my friend from Colfax, home of the Pecan Festival, and a honey bun cake for my Dad, who used to keep them on top of the refrigerator where we kids couldn’t get them. I had never heard of a honey bun cake, but a friend of Facebook said they were great, so I got the Googler out and found a Betty Crocker recipe that had 4.7 stars out of 5 and over 200 comments. (A note for people new to the whole internet review thing: Lots of stars is good, but be sure that there are more than 10 reviews by family members who were coerced to post rave reviews. The threat of having to endure more skunky recipes motivates them to post nice things.) This is a dream recipe: cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, eggs, nuts, cinnamon, mix, and… bada bing, bada boom… 2 bowls and 1 hour later, you are totally FINISHED! This cake is good still warm from the oven, but that is nothing compared to how good it tastes the next day if it lasts that long. The work to reward ratio is very high for this recipe, I mark it at 1:5.
After searching and reading several butter pecan recipes, I decided to go with the one that incorporated melted white chocolate! What could be yummier than that? Since I didn’t get to taste this cake when I made it last month, I decided to make it yesterday. This is a highly pretentious, from-scratch cake. Melt the white chocolate, cream the butter and sugar, separate the eggs, add yolks one at a time, put the baking soda in the buttermilk, sift the cake flour, and then beat the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into batter. Pour into 3 pans (had to buy a third) lined with parchment paper and sprayed with Baker’s Joy (had to buy that, too.) I used every bowl in my arsenal, 6 total, to make this cake: stainless bowl that goes with the mixer, big bowl to sift flour, medium bowl for egg whites, small bowl for sugar, another one for the icing (chopped pecans, lightly toasted in butter, added to the cream cheese icing.) This cake was one great, big project that took all morning and made a big mess. We started at 9 and finished at 2 and when I went to take the first bite, I was expecting something moist and delicious. I was disappointed. 5 hours of work: 1 pleasure (the icing was very good.)
I sent a text to my sister bemoaning the wasted day making a cake from scratch that didn’t taste as good as the cake mix with 2 extra ingredients, and she replied, “Been there!”
Me: “We should make a t-shirt. ‘Friend who shall remain nameless*’ knows all the websites where you can make own t-shirts.”
Her: “Somebody in China already making them for one dolla.”
Me: “But ours would be originals.”
Her: “From Scratch!”
I am still laughing. So, now I am having a t-shirt design contest for my blog readers. Blurbs already taken include: “Scratch, my ass!” “Scratch That!” Box is Better!” “Back in the Box!” The winner will get a t-shirt in the color of their choice with their design. Images are allowable. Deadline Monday of next week.
*Everybody has a friend that knows everything (and this may be me for some of you), but you love them and just because they are not readers, you are not gonna embarass them for no reason because this is bad karma, and you have all of that you can handle at the moment.